We would like a redesign of this news portal.
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This site is driving by Subdreamer Content Management. [url removed, login to view]
The home page or our is static. By this I mean we create the page as an article in Subdreamer but the headers and articles are manually entered, not dynamically generated as new articles are created. The remaining pages are build by individual news articles entered by editors. There are several requirements for this project.
1) Ad sales are, and will continue to be, key to the success of this site. As you'll see the top half of the pages are heavy with ads. The advertisers tell us they like this, but if you can provide greater exposer for the advertisers via a better layout, we'll consider it. The point is, whatever redesign we go with, we will need to prominently promote our advertisers. They want to be seen and have click-throughs to their site.
2) The navigation elements on the left side have become complex. We would like a top navigation structure with dynamic drop down links for the sub categories, so that, for example, there might be a section called: North Carolina, and under that link would be links to; NC Cruising News, NC Fuel Prices, NC Anchorages, NC Marinas, NC Bridge Schedules, etc. For now, the top categories are, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Eastern Florida, Florida Keys, Western Florida and Northern Gulf.
In addition, under the North Carolina Cruising News area, we would like that section sub-divided into smaller geographies. Right now ALL of the NC cruising news is dumped onto one long page. We would like to see the NC Cruising News area broken out into sub-regions. This would require multi-tagging of content, because we would still like to have the whole long page would appear in a chronological order as the articles are created, AND, if a user selected a sub-category, say, the Morehead City – Beaufort Region, they would get ONLY articles for that region.
This would require multiple tagging of content by the editor. Currently Subdreamer does not offer this feature, so we would need the developer to offer a way for the editors to multi-tag articles.
3) In addition you'll see other links in the top left nav that will also need a prominent link structure.
Home, Submit Cruising News, Ask Your Neighbor, Bridge Directory, Anchorage Directory, Photo of the Week, Weather & Tides, Passage Markers, Recipe Page, Fuel Prices
4) We would like to see the Ask Your Neighbor area to become more interactive. Right now a moderator has to manage this area and when a user replies to a posting the original requester does not get an email notification. This could become more forum based but we don't want it exposed to flaming or abuse.
5) We would also like to make it very easy and obvious for visitors to post cruising news. This feature would go to a news editor who would post the article.
6) We would like to make it easy and obvious for potential sponsors to get in touch with our ad sales team.
7) We would like to add, a reader's endorsement page, staff bio page, full listing of sponsors page, (all 60 or so advertisers) a readers survey page.
There may be other, smaller requirements, but this covers the big items.
In summery, a focus on advertisers is a must, as is mult-tagging of content.
We would prefer to continue with Subdreamer since we have plenty of experience with this app and since our database is large. But we're open to other options if you find you cannot create a multi-tag work-around in Subdreamer.
If you are familiar with the Drupal Content Management System then this might be an alternative option to Subdreamer. We are looking for someone who has experience in ad based, news heavy, content managment web applications.
After investigating Drupal we are now ready to consider using Joomla. Drupal seemed too difficult to navigate and create the site structure. i.e., not intuitive. Joomla seems somewhat easier to use, however, there does appear to be a sever limitation in the banner ad area. Only one ad per page and no way to add alt tag content to the ad. We need multiple ads per page.
We also need multi-tagging. Not sure if Joomal can do this or not, since we would create categories but then never found a way to add content to those categories.
Anyway, if you are familiar with Joomal review what we've done on this site and reply. http://www.rivercruiseguides.com/index.php
We're looking to move forward on this project soon.